Although gay issues -- and out players -- are still largely taboo subjects in professional sports, small signs of tolerance, such as New York Giants' defensive end Michael Strahan's low-key defense of allegations from his estranged wife that he leads an "alternative lifestyle," are emerging. "What's going on in sports is similar to any gay-related argument," said Dan Woog, an out high school soccer coach and author of two books on gay athletes. "Increasing numbers of people are fine with civil unions. But the president still just came out for a constitutional ban on gay marriage. I think what's happening in sports mirrors what is happening in society."

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